Omen by Belgian-Congolese filmmaker, Baloji, stands tall with an astounding 13 nominations, making it the most nominated film this year.
By Helena Olori
Nominations for the much anticipated 19th Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), were announced on Thursday 21st September, featuring 26 categories and an impressive lineup of exceptional films and talents from across the African continent.
On the homefront, Sundance award-winning film, Mami Wata, leads the pack with an outstanding 12 nods. The aesthetically daring film, directed by CJ Obasi, is keenly contesting for coveted awards such as “Best Cinematography”, “Best Director”, and the highly prestigious “Best Film” title.
Following closely behind is Kunle Afolayan’s Aníkúlápó with nine nominations, 4-4-44 (Four Four Forty-Four) by Izu Ojukwu with eight nods, and Jade Osiberu’s groundbreaking crime thriller, Gangs of Lagos clinching five nominations.
Outside the shores of Nigeria, Baloji’s directorial debut, Omen, stands tall with an astounding 13 nominations, making it the most nominated film this year. The Belgian-Congolese film has marked several milestones since its release, including winning the “New Voice Prize” award at the 76th Cannes Film Festival and representing Belgium in the “International Feature Film” category at the upcoming Oscars, a first for an African film.
Also shining among its peers is Sira – directed by Burkina Faso filmmaker Apolline Traore – with eight nominations while Xalé by Senegalese director, Moussa Sene Absa, is nominated six times across major categories.
The jury, led by Zimbabwean film curator, Keith Shiri, will determine the winners from the impressive lineup of nominees.
Raymond Anyiam-Osigwe, Board Chair, Africa Film Academy, unveiled the lineup of activities for the 2023 edition, emphasising the awards’ commitment to redefining continental recognition of cinematic excellence.
The nomination announcement ceremony, hosted by veteran Nigerian actor, Segun Arinze, at the Saffron Hotel in Ikeja, Lagos, also included a solemn moment of silence to honour the late founder of the African Film Academy, Peace Ogechi Anyiam-Osigwe, who passed on earlier in January 2023.
The Africa Movie Academy Awards, organised by the Africa Film Academy, celebrates the excellence and creativity of African cinema. This year’s ceremony, themed “The Renaissance” is scheduled to be held on Sunday, October 29, 2023, at the Sheraton Hotels, Lagos. Among other things, the event will pay tribute to the late founder.
See here for a complete list of all nominees for the awards.